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Microsoft cuts prices by 60% as Paris eyes Linux

A suggestion: Haggle a bit more and Microsoft will give a 95% discount.

<<The software giant agreed to cut prices to suppliers who work with the city "to the order of" 60 percent, said a Paris official, who spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday.>>

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/aptech_story.asp?category=1700&slug=France%20Microsoft

Karthik
Friday, July 02, 2004

Microsoft will remain a dominant player, but atleast people have alternatives and thats good !

Karthik
Friday, July 02, 2004

...but if everyone chooses to stay with M$, the alternatives will disappear again - and a 60% price _in_crease is nothing Microsoft would shy away from...

whatever
Friday, July 02, 2004

I read it as a discount to 60% of net, not a 60% discount. So $100 becomes $60, not $40.

Trivial, but useful. Also, a 40% discount is nothing that incredible. Hardly newsworthy I think.

What is Microsoft's margin on these products ? I bet they'll still make a ton of money on this deal.

Steve Jones (UK)
Friday, July 02, 2004



Wow, so the market system is triumphing without intrusive involvement by the government.


Adam Smith: 1,000,000
Marx:  0

KC
Friday, July 02, 2004

In there a "Godwin's Law"-alike vis a vis the use of "M$"?  Certainly ought to be...

Greg Hurlman
Friday, July 02, 2004

Karthik, we'e cutting your salary 60 percent. Isn't it great!


Friday, July 02, 2004

KC, you have it backwards.
Free Software is, in the abstract, communism - "from those who can, to those who need." And no way could Adam Smith have supported the idea that the market would be driven by a good produced in people's free time for free.

I'm not really trying to take one side or the other here - just commenting on a bizarre juxtaposition.

Philo

Philo
Friday, July 02, 2004

Philo,

Red Hat, Novell employ hundreds of people. Its more fo a community.  To say its communism is, to say the least is not very intelligent.

There is some difference between the wretched employer forced to do slave labor in some soviet factory and the highly motivated software techie who donates a few hours to improve a product so that he/his company can directly benefit from it.

Karthik
Friday, July 02, 2004

<<wretched employer >> should read <<wretched employee>>. Sorry

Karthik
Friday, July 02, 2004

Karthik, last time I checked neither Red Hat nor Novell created linux. AFAIK, the linux kernel is still maintained for free. In other words, contributions to the kernel are not compensated. That other companies are paying employees to support the kernel is tangential - those companies do not receive compensation for their efforts.

And the whole "slaving masses in government factories" thing is socialism. A bunch of people working without compensation and without a government is communism. A pretty important difference.

Philo

Philo
Friday, July 02, 2004

Philo,

Actually it is Smthian economics at work.

It's optimizing the useage of comparative advantages.

My skills may be java and databases.  Your skills may be finanacial applications.  By us collaborating (either pureposefully or otherwise), your application is improved and my skills are utilized/sharpened and I get a better application.

It's bartering.

KC
Friday, July 02, 2004


"A bunch of people working without compensation and without a government is communism. "

What? That makes no sense. Working without a government is communism? Communism *is* a form of government.

The differences between socialism and communism are slight. Let's not forget that the world leader in Communism called itself the "United Soviet Socialist Republics".

And communism didn't necessarily advocate the removal of hard currency. Even in the Soviet Union, employees were paid wages.

Comrade Tschevenko
Friday, July 02, 2004

Is anyone forced to work on the Linux kernal?  What geeks do in their spare time can hardly be compared to communism, which has ruined the lives of hundreds of millions of souls.

please
Friday, July 02, 2004

"Communism *is* a form of government"

No, communism is a form of economics; the analogue is capitalism. Capitalism is about free markets and currency for goods and services; communism is about producing what you can for the community, and only consuming what you need, without the need for currency or worrying about keeping tabs.

Socialism is communism managed by a central government. To some degree public education in the US is a socialist program. Medicine in the UK and Canada are socialist programs - paid for by all (via taxes), provided to all (via public clinics), and the mechanics in the middle managed by the government.

The USSR was appropriately named, and was never a communist system, by any stretch of the imagination. The government was a totalitarian extreme of a republican system (the political form of government)

HTH,
Philo

Philo
Friday, July 02, 2004

Philo,

Have you visited any of the communist countries?.

I was born in India which was socialist (equally bad). My father had visited all the communist countries in Europe- Poland, USSR, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yogoslavia etc. etc. This was  in the 1980's.
He told me about the horrific conditions there. None of the people want to work during full time hours. They are lazy, slothful. You name it.  The only interest the Russians took was their international image. Thats why East European cars used to stink to the high heavens but they could send satellites to space. In Indian government run factories, no one works even during office hours. They talk, eat and work during tea breaks. To compare it with  the dedication of the Linux kernel team is totally incorrect. From what i see of Open Office, they are highly organized and dedicated to their job and product.

And so what if majority are unpaid. Why should i pay Lotus or MS 300$ or whatever if Open Office meets my needs quite well? The important thing is that it WORKS. Open Office WORKS.

P.S. You are factually incorrect when you say contributons to the Linux kernel are not compensated. Many of them are. Oracle has 4 people working on the Linux Kernel who are compensated.  IBM has several dozen (I think). Their work is to maintain and update the Linux Kernel. They are actually paid for their efforts.

Karthik
Friday, July 02, 2004

You are full of it, Philo. Anyone who believes that open-source contributors do it out of the goodness of their hearts are deluded, including both you and some of the leading open-source lights. They do it for primarily selfish reasons:

1. To burnish their reputation in the programming community.
2. To increase the usability/popularity/reliability/functionality of a project that they themselves use. It's a positive feedback loop. Mozilla makes me MORE PRODUCTIVE. Therefore, it benefits ME to continue to improve Mozilla.

It's the Microslushies who are the real victims of Microsoft-communism - they can't concieve of having the motivation to work on a software project except in exchange for cold, hard cash. Very short-sighted.

Neat Chi
Friday, July 02, 2004

Karthik,
You are mostly correct when you talk about communism. I lived in socialism and we're still living in a socialist society. Anyway, a socialist society can survive very well (see Sweden), but a socialist wanna-be-communist country dies by hunger.
But this is not the place for politics and I wanted to pinpoint that:
1. OpenOffice is not working. I am on a P4 at 2,8 GHz and it is still takes long painful seconds to start. Writing a macro for OO is like educating a monkey to use the keyboard in order to get the same results.
2. OO is not the product of open source movement, nor Eclipse, nor Mozilla. These were mature closed source projects, still continued today (WebSphere, StarOffice, Netscape), compiled with gcc for a loss of performance (otherwise IBM/Sun/Netscape Inc. won't get any cash in this market). The very low activity of the community except for the employees of those corps. is in fact used to improve their costly products. And anyway, stealing a fraction of market from the almighty Microsoft may determinate a loss of interest in market position for MS,. (see Microsoft suddenly losing their appetite to rule browser market)
3. Innovation is produced by the right stimulus - money. OO and even Linux are clones.
PS. I am thankful because these clones are lowering the price of the original.

Luci Sandor
Friday, July 02, 2004

"""Innovation is produced by the right stimulus - money. """

Perhaps some innovators are motivated by money, but that doesn't mean money necessarily produces innovation.

Of course, it depends on whether you include popularization in the definition of innovation.  Microsoft has popularized a great many innovations that were originally "innovated" elsewhere.

It would perhaps be more accurate to say that popularization -- including marketing, QA/"fit and finish" work, documentation, etc. -- is produced by money.  :)

Phillip J. Eby
Friday, July 02, 2004

One day I think a lot of the young guys who contributed to Linux will be talking among themselves, as middle-aged Joes who've just been laid off, and they will read a business magazine article about the incredible worth of Linux, and see quotes by people who made a lot of money out of the Joes' work, and they will start thinking lawyers.

By that stage of their lives, they will have money to pay for lawyers. So around 2010 or 2015 I'm expecting to see the first law suit by former Linux programmers wanting proper compensation for their work. It will probably be against IBM or Red Hat.

me
Friday, July 02, 2004

Does anyone else believe that "free as in beer" software is a major reason behind the commoditisation of programming? There has always been a trend toward packaged software replacing custom programming (and rightly so), but it seems to me that free software has done more to promote the cost-cutting mentality than most other factors.

Other industries are smart enough not to destroy their profits by engaging in a "race to the bottom". The software industry on the other hand is actively promoting the idea that business will soon be able to get all the software they need for free. If such a point arrives, I wonder whether the average programmer will connect the dots between free software and his pink slip.

.
Friday, July 02, 2004

I have moved the above question to it's own thread ("Commoditisation").

.
Friday, July 02, 2004

it's --> its

.
Friday, July 02, 2004

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